Dla zainteresowanych umieszczam krótki fragment "Historii" ("Qwerty: The History"), w wersji angielskiej. Dla tych, którzy znają język lub się go uczą, być może okaże się to przyjemną lekturą. Więcej tekstów, także tych spoza powieści (nie publikowanych do tej pory nigdzie indziej), znaleźć można na moim anglojęzycznym blogu TUTAJ.
Uncle Matt passed away that night and the next evening Mrs Gibble and Qwerty were to leave the old manor and move him to her house. When she finished rummaging through her brother’s possessions, Qwerty, who had been packing his own things, sneaked inside. Only then he felt the real emptiness: neatly made up bed with an ancient, dark-red canopy, in places eaten by moths; walls, stripped of portraits to be sold to the museum or private collectors; a window with no curtains; empty furniture…
All this made his throat close and brought burning tears to his eyes. He came nearer the window, quickly peeked through it and, listening carefully to make sure there was no one on the corridor, he produced a penknife he’d hidden in his pocket.
He dislodged one of the planks in the flooring, which seemed to be the same as others. It sprang aside, however, and Qwerty saw a little package, slid into a gap in the floor. He took it out and unwrapped. He then realised it was a book – inconspicuous in its appearance, bound in leather. He opened it; on the very first page he saw the sun, drawn with black ink – it took half of the page, and it was encircled by several strange letters, which he wasn’t able to read. He observed nothing more, because there was the sound of steps from the hallway, perfectly audible in an empty building. He quickly covered the hiding place and slid the book under his jumper.
‘What are you doing here?’ his aunt asked him sharply. ‘You were supposed to pack!’
‘Yes, of course… I just… I just came to see, for the last time…’
‘Oh, there’s no time for sentiments. Hurry up, I don’t want to spend another night here.’
And thus, not having time to think why aunt Adela didn’t want to sleep in the old house, he left the place he loved and, giving the final look to the manor and the neighbourhood through the car window, Qwerty left the small village of Corfe Castle, where he’d spent all his life.
The Gibbles’ house was not far; merely one hour’s drive – first through narrow roads, enclosed in the tunnels of thick shrubbery; then through wider streets of towns and villages. In the end, aunt Adela parked in front of a square, grey house Qwerty immediately disliked. There was an evenly cut lawn opposite the front door; as soon as he set his eyes upon it, he had a bad feeling about it – righteously so, as it turned out, because later he was required to mow it. Twice.
Further ahead there was a concrete driveway and a garage; white, unpleasant lights filled the windows.
Aunt Adela led him away from the car, holding his arm as if Qwerty had been a naughty child, and they entered through the back door. They then found themselves in a small enclosure, where Mr and Mrs Gibble kept two Guinea pigs, tools, solvents, bikes and – in the corner – a pile of wooden planks. Wood shavings in the animals’ cage stank, until the next day, when Qwerty was asked to change them, the request being placed in a rude manner. A door led to the kitchen. Aunt Adela turned the doorknob, and they entered a medium-sized room, one side of it covered with the kitchen furniture and appliances; it was dazzling clean.
She pushed him forward and they stepped into a vast living room. Here things were the exact opposite: green carpet was covered with crumbles and dog’s fur. The fireplace was now free of flames, but full of papers and unidentified scraps, and the sofa’s cover was hurled carelessly to the side.
Upon seeing such atrocities, aunt Adela forgot all about Qwerty and began to yell at two children sitting amongst the mess, teasing a dog – a small Pekingese with messy fur and lopsided bow on its head.
Afterwards, she remembered about the boy and once more pushed him forward, so he stood in the middle of the room. As soon as Dolores heard his name, she chuckled unpleasantly and Sebastian looked at him, as if Qwerty was a worm. Not long ago they had turned fourteen – they were just over a year older than him, but that did not make them more sensible.
Suddenly he heard the rustling of a newspaper being put to the side and only now, turning slightly on his heal, Qwerty noticed a large, blond-haired man, with a red, round face, who reached for his cup of tea as if not registering the entire scene.
‘Dear, meet Qwerty,’ aunt Adela said to the man, and a sweet smile appeared on her face. It did not suit her at all.
‘Is this the young man who’s supposed to live with us?’ Mr Gibble asked, watching the boy standing opposite, in a way far worse than Sebastian. Sebastian at least decided Qwerty had a brain, whilst his father considered him an oversized amoeba that needed feeding.
‘He looks similar to your brother, Adela,’ added uncle Gibble and that was it. He moved his critical look back to the newspaper and returned to studying the house prices, swearing from time to time. He was an estate agent, who had the ability to negotiate the highest prices from his clients – especially those who moved to Dorset from other regions, e.g. from Manchester.
But uncle Gibble was not wrong. Indeed, Qwerty’s appearance was very similar to Matt’s: dark hair, evenly cut above the ears, and brown eyes, so dark they were almost black, made him look like a smaller, younger copy of Mr Seymore. He was tall for his age; thin lips formed a narrow line when he thought of something intensively, and in the moments of anxiety, like the first time he stood in the middle of the Gibbles’ living room, he clasped his hands together. Sometimes, when Qwerty raised his thick, black eyebrows giving him a grim look, there was a wrinkle on his forehead and he seemed serious, dangerous even, and baffling. Normally, however, he wore an expression of a mild contemplation, as if he was constantly processing information about everything that surrounded him; this was complemented by a shade of melancholy. The only wrinkle on his forehead was a proof of the ability to think, which the Gibble children seemed to have been lacking entirely.
He smiled rarely, but when he did, Qwerty’s smile was beautiful and friendly; it changed him completely. The gentle sadness disappeared somewhere, the forehead smoothened, and others had to smile back, so contagious it was…